A woman’s right to choose

January 22, 2006 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I don’t think women in this country or people who love women in this country should trust the Conservatives on abortion.” – Dr. Henry Morgentaler

I’m scared.

Tomorrow is Election Day in Canada. And if the polls are “right”, it could mean a Conservative government.

If the polls are right, and voters choose Stephen Harper tomorrow, I’m scared of what that will mean for women.

Today is the 33rd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade in the U.S. In Canada abortion is decriminalized – ie. not legal but not illegal.

As a woman, I walk around every day of my life knowing that I am a second-class citizen. I feel it when my brother talks to me, when I go to work, when I go to school. I feel it when my opportunities are limited because of my sex. I feel it when my right to choice may be limited.

Right now it’s not. In Canada there is access to abortion (although sometimes limited). If you live in a rural area, your access to abortion might be limited. You might not have the money or transportation to drive eight hours to a clinic where a doctor will perform an abortion. In some provinces, healthcare will not cover abortion. Thanksfully, in Newfoundland and Labrador, the province covers all abortion costs, but if you live in a remote area of the province, such as Goosebay or Nain, you probably won’t be able to get an abortion.

On Prince Edward Island, there is neither abortion access. So if you have an unwanted pregnancy on PEI, you’ll have to leave the province to get an abortion. That means going to New Brunswick or Nova Scotia at personal expense. If you’re over 16 week pregnant, you’ll have to go to Montreal, Toronto or Boston.

My access to abortion depends on where I live in Canada – but despite that, I know that if I need or want one, I have the choice.

That choice is essential to my right as a woman, as a person – to making me more than just a second-class citizen. It’s essential to my equality in this world.

Tomorrow is Election Day. If the Conservative party forms government, I’m terrified of what will happen to that choice.

73% of the Conservative party have expressed anti-aborton sentiments. The other 27% have refused to comment on their choice agenda.

Stephen Harper has said repeatedly that were a private member introduce a motion on abortion, he would not force members to tow the party line, but rather to vote on their personal feelings:

“I would not force a vote on a moral question like abortion on my cabinet. …I always said, on these kinds of issues, Member of Parliament, including cabinet ministers, are going to be free to vote their conscience.” (Stephen Harper, Media Scrum, June 4, 2004)

So yes, I’m scared.

If you care at all about women – about your sisters, aunts, friends, cousins, mothers, grandmothers – for all the women in Canada – about women’s equality – then do not mark an x next to the Conservative party on Monday January 23rd.

Our rights depend on it.

– Artemis

It’s January 22nd, 2006 – the 33rd Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. I’m Blogging for Choice


1 Comment »

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  1. Hi! just stumbled in from blogorama.

    I’m sorry Harper got in but am glad he’s not in a stronger position.

    I enjoyed visiting your blog!

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